On the 4 July 2009 Private Robert Laws, 18, from 2 Battalion The Mercian Regiment, was killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. On the fifth anniversary of his death, fifteen close friends planned and completed a charity bike ride in support of Help for Heroes.
What had been dubbed the ‘Tour De Laws’ officially begin on the 2nd July 2014, when fifteen close friends of Robbie's set off from Tower Bridge in London with a view of reaching the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The route taken would see them ride over 210 miles in just 3 days. Having had very little experience of road cycling before, the group began training months in advance to give themselves the best possible chance. In addition to training, the group also organised all aspects of the challenge and fundraising events and sessions in the build-up.
The ride itself was not without its trials and tribulations. There were equipment problems from the offset as it became evident to the group that they were not going to get an easy ride. The planned route would take the team out of London down to Newhaven.
From there the group travelled by ferry to Dieppe where they mounted the saddle once more in the early hours of Thursday morning. The second day would see the lads travel a gruelling 105 miles to their accommodation in Boisemont, just west of Cergy. The approach to Paris was made on the third and final day, with the group navigating the narrow streets and dodging a great deal of pedestrians, often accompanied with a chorus of 'Allez Allez' from the crowds. The final approach was made alongside the River Seine until the team turned onto the 'Pont d'Iena', forming a line which spanned across three lanes of the carriageway, the Eiffel tower was in sight. Goosebumps.
On our return to the UK they discovered that they had far surpassed their fundraising expectations. They would like to thank everyone involved for the support and kind donations, as without it the challenge would not have been possible. They would also like to thank Help for Heroes for giving them the opportunity to support our troops and their families.
A small proportion of the group would happily never see a saddle again however the majority are already planning the next adventure.